Oxfam Canada Reacts to Budget 2024

April 17, 2024

Oxfam Canada welcomes the announcement today in Budget 2024 of $350 million over two years for international humanitarian assistance.  In a world of increasing conflicts and crises, Canada’s life-saving assistance is needed more than ever.  In line with the Feminist International Assistance Policy, this modest increase in our country’s humanitarian envelope will support gender transformative interventions that will improve the lives of women and girls facing emergencies. 

Oxfam Canada believes fair taxation of the wealthiest individuals and corporations is crucial to reversing wealth inequality.  In a meaningful move to tackle wealth inequality, Budget 2024 introduces reforms to the capital gains tax.  By increasing the capital gains tax inclusion rate on the wealthiest 0.13% of the population (those with capital gains greater than $250,000 per year), the government will help reduce wealth inequality in Canada, while at the same time generating an estimated $19 billion in additional public revenues over the next five years.  

Budget 2024 includes $1 billion for child care infrastructure to help expand the pan-Canadian child care system.  The new infrastructure program provides low-cost loans for public and non-profit child care providers to build out more child care spaces or renovate existing child care centres, which is urgently needed as child care demand continues to outpace available spaces. 

Overall the budget contained little new funding for gender justice or women’s rights initiatives.  Unlike in previous years, the word “gender” appears only 13 times in the budget document and nowhere in the newly funded measures being unveiled today.  There was no dedicated funding for gender-based violence or funding directed towards women’s rights and feminist movements.   

We applaud the government for providing $12 million over five years to fund projects aimed at combatting hate against the 2SLGBTQ community, and $3 million over two years to support security needs for Pride festivals.  In a landscape of growing hate and intolerance, such initiatives will protect the rights of 2SLGBTQ people and celebrate their achievements. 

Oxfam Canada had recommended that Budget 2024 include a national commission on the care economy, with $30 million over three years.  We welcome the government’s intention to convene a Sectoral Table on the Care Economy.  The government should ensure care workers, care providers and people receiving care are included in the consultation.  Stronger care systems and better compensation and working conditions for care workers will improve social, economic and health outcomes for all Canadians.   

Oxfam Canada’s Recommendations for Budget 2024 are available here: https://www.oxfam.ca/publication/oxfam-canadas-recommendations-for-federal-budget-2024/ 

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